Women’s Tennis: Northwestern drops pair of road matches against ranked opponents


Daily file photo by Keshia Johnson

Alex Chatt celebrates a point. The junior logged two wins but Northwestern dropped its weekend matches.

Zach Koons, Reporter

Women’s Tennis

Northwestern entered the weekend with a chance to steal wins over two top-10 opponents, but fell short against both No. 9 Vanderbilt and No.10 Duke.

Despite strong singles wins from junior Alex Chatt, the No. 23 Wildcats (4-3) lost 5-2 to the Commodores (4-1) on Friday, and were edged 4-3 by the Blue Devils on Sunday.

“We prepared all week for these two matches and knew that it wasn’t going to be easy,” Chatt said. “We knew that we had to be there 100 percent if we wanted to get a chance against these top teams.”

Vanderbilt came in boasting an undefeated record and the No. 2 and No. 28 singles players in the country. The Commodores also clinched a berth to ITA Indoor Nationals a week earlier.

The Cats fell behind early, losing the doubles point and the first two singles points. After a win from Chatt, sophomore Rheeya Doshi lost to the Commodores’ Georgina Sellyn 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 as Vanderbilt solidified its win.

Chatt was one of the few bright spots for NU and pulled out a 3-set win, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. Junior Maddie Lipp also picked up her first singles win in almost a month, upsetting No. 28 Christina Rosca of Vanderbilt 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.

“My win was a good feeling individually,” Lipp said. “My matches consistently have been pretty tough, and I feel that even though I’ve had some tough losses, with the Big Ten season coming up, I’ll be prepared.”

NU quickly returned to action Sunday in Durham for a rematch against Duke, seeking to flip the script from the match a week earlier.

On Jan. 29, the Cats fell to the Blue Devils 4-3, with Maddie Lipp conceding the decisive point in a tiebreaker against Duke’s No. 14 Meible Chi.

“It was definitely strange (going back to Duke) at first, feeling like we had just been there,” Chatt said. “We went in there feeling like we had a better opportunity than we did last week.”

The Cats found themselves in almost an identical situation in the rematch, grabbing the doubles point behind wins from the pairs of Doshi and Lee Or, and Erin Larner and Brooke Rischbieth.

However, the team struggled in singles play, only picking up wins from Larner and Chatt. In a 3-3 tie entering the final match, Rischbieth fell to Duke’s Rebecca Smaller 7-5, 7-6 (7-5).

After four matches in a seven-day span, the Cats will now return home to rest until Feb. 17, when they host Baylor.

Against the Bears, NU will look to bounce back from three-straight losses after a 4-0 start to the year.

“Playing at home is definitely way more supportive,” Lipp said. “We hope we can get a decent crowd (against Baylor) to continue winning at home.”

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